Happy Birthday, Ishmael Reed, born 22 February 1938
- Writing has made me a better man. It has put me in contact with those fleeting moments which prove the existence of soul.
- No one says a novel has to be one thing. It can be anything it wants to be, a vaudeville show, the six o’clock news, the mumblings of wild men saddled by demons.
- All art must be for the end of liberating the masses. A landscape is only good when it shows the oppressor hanging from a tree.
- One of the joys of reading is the ability to plug into the shared wisdom of mankind.
- My stuff is direct. Critics have compared my writing style with boxing all the way back to 1978 when my first book of essays appeared: it was compared to Muhammad Ali’s style.
- Writing poetry is the hard manual labour of the imagination.
- My novels and poems are meant to be read aloud. That’s why jazz musicians have been able to adapt my stuff.
Ishmael Reed is an American poet, novelist, essayist, songwriter, playwright, editor and publisher. He is known for his satirical works challenging American political culture. His works of fiction include Mumbo Jumbo and Flight to Canada.
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